The Miami City Council Ward 3 seat will be filled in the nonpartisan election scheduled for April 3, 2018.

MIAMI – With the filing period for Miami City Council Ward seats 3 and 4 ended on Feb. 9, one seat is now set for an election race.

The Ottawa County Election Board received Declarations of Candidacy for Ward 3, representing the southwest portion of Miami, from incumbent Neal Johnson, and Ryan Orcutt.

The Miami City Council Ward 3 seat will be filled in the nonpartisan election scheduled for April 3, 2018.

For Ward 4, representing the southeast portion of Miami, only one filing was received for the seat from incumbent Vicki Lewis, a longtime Miami educator, now Wyandotte Elementary School Principal.

Both Miami City Council offices are for a term of three years.

Neal Johnson

Incumbent Neal Johnson is a retired Tuscaloosa BF Goodrich employee and a Class of 1975 Miami High School graduate.

“I’ve been married to my beautiful wife Lisa for 11 years,” Johnson said. “This is my hometown. When I came back I wanted to be involved in the community. I love my hometown and I just try to make it better than it was before. I’m proud of the accomplishments made, it’s not me, it’s the council, and the City employees. They have been nothing but great. ”

“I’ve been fortunate to be part of some good things this past six years and I know we’ve got some things coming up that are going to be exciting for our town, and I want to help in that process,” Johnson said.

Johnson’s proudest accomplishment during his two terms was being a part of the new Ketcher/Keheley Animal Shelter.

“That was a project since day one I came on the council. It was a big thing with Mayor Ketcher, and when he passed away I kind of volunteered to finish that project,” Johnson said.

If re-elected, Johnson hopes to work to see the Miami Splash Pad and MHS/NEO Honor’s Plaza completed at Red Robertson Stadium. He has also served on the Miami Community Facility Authority since 2012 as part of the projects.

Johnson has served as Mayor Pro Tem since 2013 and tirelessly served the community voluntarily on numerous committees and boards including MCFA, Miami Downtown Redevelopment Authority, Chairman of the Board of the Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, and as past chairman of the Miami Board of Adjustment and as Vice Chairman on the Miami Planning Commission.

“It’s been a blessing to serve my Ward and my city the last six years, and I’d be honored to serve another three, ‘ Johnson said.

Ryan Orcutt

City Council candidate Ryan Orcutt is a 32-year-old native to Miami. He has spent the last five years residing in the southwest Ward of Miami after returning from college and teaching in South Korea.

He currently serves as the coordinator for advising and testing at NEO A&M College, as well as teaches adjunct for the college. During his time away he says he developed a new appreciation for his community and “strives to train and aid others to attain their highest objectives”.

Orcutt is a graduate of Leadership Miami XVIII and an active member of the community. He is a member of both the Ottawa County United Way and Bright Futures Miami boards.

In running for City Council, Orcutt hopes to bring a perspective to the table that is “both progressive and understanding of others,” he explains.

Orcutt says his experience abroad has brought him to truly see the deep-rooted culture of Miami from a fresh viewpoint.

“Miami has a rich history that, through both the community members and leaders, have been retained over the years. I see a Miami that is currently in motion and in a mode of, ‘revitalization’. The city leadership has made great strides to make this happen in the last few years and I would like to be a part in continuing the legacy of this great community. I look forward to the prospects of serving the residents of Miami in the capacity of a city councilman,” Orcutt said.

For questions in regards to this election, call the Election Board at 918-542-2893.

Melinda Stotts is the associate editor of the Miami News-Record. She can be emailed at or followed on Twitter @MelindaStotts1.